5 April 2016
SAVARY, Claude Etienne (1750-1788). Lettres sur l'Egypte, où l'on offre le parallèle des moeurs anciennes et modernes de ses habitans, où l'on décrit l'état, le commerce, l'agriculture, le gouvernement et la religion du pays : la descente de S. Louis à Damiette, tirée de Joinville et des Auteurs Arabes avec des Cartes Géographiques. Paris: Chez Onfroi, 1786.
3 volumes, 8° (190 x 115 mm). 3 engraved folding maps, one folding plate showing a cross-section of la grande Pyramide. Contemporary tan tree calf, spine in six compartments with five raised bands, compartments gilt-decorated with rolls, fillets and central floral ornaments, red and brown lettering pieces (joints starting, some light wear and fading). Provenance: Montagu George Knight of Chawton (bookplates).
Second edition. Savary travelled in Egypt from 1776-79, and was the first Frenchman to cite Arab texts in a work of this nature. “‘The merit of this work consists in its curious notions respecting ancient and modern Egypt, drawn from scarce and almost unknown Arabic writers. Savary describes Upper Egypt as if he had visited it, whereas he never did. The reputation of the work was cut to pieces by Michaelis in a foreign journal of oriental literature’” (Cox, quoting Lowndes). Chadenat 5290; Church I, p. 386; Cioranescu XVIII, 59674; Goldsmiths'-Kress 13150.11 -1 suppl; Weber 578 (1798 ed.). See Quérard VIII, p. 492.
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